Paleontologists Ana Valenzuela-Toro and Mariana Viglino describe the systemic and societal barriers faced by female scientists in Latin America.

Paleontologists Ana Valenzuela-Toro and Mariana Viglino outline some of the challenges shared by researchers across Latin America. These include funding, language barriers, journal publication fees and conference travel costs. But the two women then list some of the extra burdens faced by female researchers who live and work there, many of which will resonate with female colleagues based elsewhere.

“When you are in a room sharing a scientific idea or project, nobody listens to you. Then another person, usually a male researcher, says what you said,” says Valenzuela-Toro, who is based in Caldero, Chile.

Mariana Viglino, a Puerto Madryn-based researcher at CONICET, an Argentinian government science agency, says the election of far-right governments inevitably results in science funding cuts. “And that means many people having their careers cut. Many research projects that are not going to be able to continue,” she warns.

“It makes me feel really hopeless, and really burnt out, and really sad. I really don’t even know how to put it into words. You want to give back to the government who has invested in you. You want to give back to society. You just feel like they are just pushing you out.”